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Don’t absolve men of role in teaching respect

Published:Friday | July 5, 2019 | 12:25 AM


Gleaner letter writer Simone Cole (July 3, 2019) lambastes the worst of some Jamaican men: disrespectful, murderer, disloyal, avoiding commitment, “among other negative attitudes”.

Ms Cole rightly recognises that the ­primary classroom for instilling character is the home. She calls on mothers to raise their sons to respect and communicate well with the females in their family and to teach girls to command respect from men. Ms Cole does not appeal to fathers.

Certainly, some Jamaican men are a grave shame to their sex, just as there are some Jamaican women who are a danger to their own. Ms Cole’s recommendation, however, seems to place sole responsibility on ­mothers (women) to solve a problem affecting women, and which, incidentally, also affects men. By her recommendation, fathers and other men are let off the hook. This actually exacerbates the problem.

It is a human reality that boys listen to men far better than they listen to women. And both boys and girls follow what they see far closer than what they hear. What we learn is ‘caught’ more than ‘taught’. How Mummy speaks to and speaks of Daddy, and how Daddy communicates with and treats Mummy is the loudest blackboard for children.

The fact is, the father-mother relationship is the primary template for all male-female relationships in society. The stable, ­married, low-conflict home, with a husband and wife faithfully committed to each other and jointly dedicated to their sons and ­daughters, is Jamaica’s best route to achieving good communication and respect flowing in both directions. #MarriageMattersJamaica.